Accepted paper:

A crafty bluff: picturesque tourism or the experience of neighbourhood and past as part of the property shopping basket in Ciutat de Mallorca

Author:

Marc Morell (University of Bergen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the use of small-scale in the selling of a particular neighbourhood in Ciutat de Mallorca. I will argue that commodified small-scale givens, such as crafts' heritage and neighbourhood life style, are more about real estate speculation than cultural tourism.

Paper long abstract:

The Passeig per l'Artesania [Crafts Boulevard] is one of the latest urban tourism products to be found in the Historic Centre of Ciutat de Mallorca / Palma, the capital city of the Balearic Islands (Spain). It is the major outcome of an urban renewal scheme that takes place in the heart of a neighbourhood where the red-light district once stood. This themed scenario about the crafts' past of the city officially aims to attract locals as well as a particular kind of tourists: city breakers eager to meet traditional Mediterranean neighbourhoods, the paradigm of small-scale picturesque urban settings. However, although the Passeig has received important public funding since it was first conceived, it is a big failure.

Based on an ongoing ethnographic field research, this paper argues that the Passeig, together with the neighbourhood tag that surrounds it, is no other than a heritage smoke screen hiding a parallel large-scale business, that of the property market, which takes place beyond the tourism bate of its crafts past and of its small-scale idiosyncrasy.

In this specific case, I will show how commodified small-scale givens, such as crafts' heritage and neighbourhood life style, are more about real estate speculation than cultural tourism.

panel B4
Large-scale tourism in small-scale societies